I’m looking out at 44 young faces, and they’re looking at me expectantly. And I’m supposed to teach them. I remember how I used to get tongue-tied and a surprisingly high heart rate when standing in front of people. And I was speaking to them in English.
Not so this morning. For the first time, I have the chance to teach the Bible in Visayan. Public speaking in your heart language is fun enough. Doing it in a second language is at least twice as exciting. Believe me.
We start with singing, and thankfully the kids love singing. So, we sing some more songs. Then, we start teaching. Sometimes I almost have to pinch myself. We are teaching the Bible in Visayan to a first grade class in a very poor barrio in the Philippines. Did I mention it’s a public school?
Thankfully for me (and for the kids) I have a co-teacher. Wendel is our Visayan language helper, and he is also a Christian brother. We spent an undisclosed number of hours to prep this lesson, and now we are teaching it together.
Or, more like acting it out. “I need a volunteer!” and another…and another. (Thanks is due here to all the churches that I have had the chance to do VBS in over the years---it was preparing me more than I knew.) And, before Wendel started working with missionaries, he taught kids too. Hmm…apparently God is preparing us for something, no matter what we’re doing…
Another round of "And Dios, Dako!" (My God is so Big!")
I am reminded of the needs here, from the sparse and tiny classroom with 44 first graders, to their answers to questions. We are talking about problems, and their examples of problems at home come back every time to almost the same thing: “No money!” “No cooked rice!” “No uncooked rice!” “Nothing to put on top of rice!” (If you couldn’t tell, rice is the staple food here.) Our church here has seen the need—and they teach God’s Word---Then after teaching, they have a feeding program for the most malnourished kids in the school. It’s exciting that they are providing nourishment for the body as well as the soul--
We act out and teach the lesson with the help of our first grade class, and at the end of our time together, we know they might not remember it all, but they are getting a foundation for understanding the Bible.
And they actually seemed to have a fun time doing it. And so
|Some of our church ministry team that does the public school outreach. Please pray for the Bible teachers and the kids!|
As we progress in the language, we are getting more and more chances to be involved in the ministry of our local church, and in the lives of our friends here.
Please pray with us for the kids in our class, as Wendel and I continue to teach them chronologically through the Bible every Wednesday morning.